Arts & Music. Rajasthan. December. Extraordinary.December: A music carnival where the fun never ended would perhaps be the best way to describe the first edition of Magnetic Fields, a brand new music and arts festival held from December 13-15 at the 17th century palace in the heritage village of Alsisar in Shekhawati, Rajasthan. Featuring some of the most popular names from the Indian music scene and a few handpicked international stars, the three-day Magnetic Fields saw some stellar sets and lots of dancing. But the fun wasn’t limited to just music. The festival was a sensorial delight: there were traditional Rajasthani delicacies for the gourmand, the locale of a Rajasthani palace to please the eyes and a general bonhomie to make everyone feel special, and at home. Highlights The true test of any music festival is the music and Magnetic Fields offered the discerning music fan the best. It introduced to music fans new-and-upcoming bands like Donn Bhat + Passenger Revelator and Until We Last as well as the sounds of international pioneers like Robot Koch and V.I.V.E.K, who undoubtedly played two of the best sets of the whole weekend. Koch, a much-acclaimed producer from Berlin, for many played THE set of the festival. A mellifluous set that meshed different genres with effortless ease, Koch showed just why he’s rated so highly. Playing in India for the first-time, V.I.V.E.K gave Indian music listeners a tantalizing glimpse of his brand of dubstep – percussive, deep and tribal. Shaa’ir + Func played a trademark high-energy set on Friday evening and set the tone for the festival. Peter Cat Recording Co were entertaining as always as were the Midival Punditz, who tested their new album in entirety for a very willing crowd. Heavily focused on folk music, the highlight of the set was a jugalbandhi between long-time Punditz collaborator Pandit Ajay Prasanna and Rajasthani percussionist Kutle Khan who charmed the audience with his flair and grin, and even had the locals assemble on the ramparts of the palace for a little peek.
Shaa’ir + Func played an electric set on Day 1 of Magnetic Fields at Alsisar MahalThe excitement about Charanjit Singh, the accidental pioneer of acid house, making his first-ever festival appearance in India, was palpable and at 9pm on Sunday, the South Stage was packed. The 72-year-old played his avant garde album, Ten Ragas To A Disco Beat live to an audience, many of whom weren’t even born in 1982, the year the album was released. Donn Bhat + Passenger Revelator impressed many in the crowd with the uplifting mix of band-meets-electronica. With the lineup divided between two stages – North stage (night stage), and the South stage (day stage), punters never had to choose between the two. The white South Stage – it was decorated with free-flowing chiffon strips that danced merrily in the breeze – was programmed till 11 pm after which the carnival-esque night stage came to life. And for those who weren’t satisfied with dancing till 4 am, there were the secret, party-till-dawn parties that came along with the added excitement of kite flying and breathtaking views of the sunrise in the desert. Magnetic Fields is produced by Wild City, WeThePPL, 11.11 by CellDSGN, THOT and Alsisar Mahal in collaboration with Border Movement, with support by Goethe. Photo Credit – Sachin Soni